The book Tasting the Seasons by Kerry Dunnington is a cookbook that is subtitled Inspired, In-Season Cuisine that’s Easy, Healthy, Fresh and Fun.” With over 250 recipes to go through, this book definitely will keep you busy for at least a good 4 months or more. There are some really tasty recipes that would be easily considered fun or easy. Many of them take no more then 30 minutes to make (par from the pastas and the setups). The reader does not need to be a 5-star chef or a culinary expert to perform these recipes.
The author introduces the cook to lots of less familiar ingredients the reader may not have been exposed to previously, like kohlrabi, cardamom, meatless ground round, robiola and edam cheese, kalamata olives, Cointreau, tamari, etc. The ability to learn that something new exists is always exciting, especially if it’s an edible option. The author also includes a product resource list near the end of the book so that the reader can better understand what it is they are looking for.
The author also discusses proactive ways to entertain guests using these recipes and ways to help dinner parties etc. run smoothly based on her experience. She also gives great information or “Eco-Terms-Tips-Techniques” to use to encourage the reader towards more sustainable living.
Kerry Dunnington personalizes each recipe with a justification of why she included this recipe in the book and its origins based on her family and past experiences. This helps the reader relate to the recipe and make an emotional connection to the food.
If you were to attempt to feed a meat eater any recipes from this book, they may be left with a lot to be desired. Though the main goal of the book is to be fresh and healthy, the extreme lack of any kind of meat in the majority of the meals is disappointing. Furthermore, if there is meat its most likely seafood based or a chicken broth based. It is understandable that meat has been identified as a “problem food” so the amount of non-meat recipes are nice but this makes a person weary that this may lean more towards a vegetarian based cookbook. Out of 250 meals, there are only 39 that contain a solid meat source, 3 of which are meat substitutes and 19 are seafood, which can become expensive. Now understandably, you could always add meat into some of the other recipes (like with the sauces and marinades) but that would be taking away from the originality behind the author’s recipes.
If you’re trying to watch your carb intake this is probably going to be hard to do as there is a beautiful section of just breads and desserts recipes alone. Not that that’s a bad thing! The portions listed in the book states that what it makes can largely very from what is listed to more then expected so be ready to have left overs.
The book lacks any pictures of what you will be cooking so there is no true way of knowing if you are making the dinner correctly or if it’s going to be a bomb. But if you’re into surprises this does offer a sort of adventurous mystery to the activity of cooking.
Overall the book is written in passion and the foods are healthy yet homey. Not a carnivores dream come true, or the avid dieters cup of tea, but the book certainly offers foods that are filling and tasty. Each recipe was an adventure in more ways then one!
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